Every day, AlloCiné’s editorial staff tells you about the films seen at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Today, the biopic on Elvis Presley, a serious candidate for the Palme d’Or and an Anglo-Saxon project for a French director.
The Festival is soon coming to an end, but rock’n’roll is rumbling the Croisette. After the presentation of the documentary on David Bowie, Moonage Daydreamthe decibels continue to climb with Elvis. This biopic marks the return of the extravagant Baz Luhrmann in Cannes, nine years later Gatsby the magnificentwhich opened in 2013.
On the competition side, one of the members of the Allociné team, Maximilien Pierrette, fell in love with Leila and her brothersnew feature film by Saeed Roustayi – who had marked the year 2021 with his thriller Tehran law. The French Claire Dennis returns to the competition with stars at noonan Anglo-Saxon project led by Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn. She had not presented a film in this category since 1988.
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Elvis by Baz Luhrmann (Out of competition)
When the music is good… Baz Luhrmann is often around. But he goes even further with Elvis. While Romeo + Juliet, red Mill Where Gatsby the magnificent marked the minds (and the ears) thanks to their soundtracks and frenzied parties, the Australian director signs here a biopic. On a true icon, cool and rock.
And it took all the mastery of the filmmaker to manage to capture the scenic energy of the King, which infuses the film from its first hair-raising images. Almost too much, because this tornado of sounds, images and music suggests exhaustion after the 2h40 that the story lasts, told by Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), troubled managerElvis. Fortunately, the rhythm calms down a bit, when Priscilla appears (Olivia DeJonge), even if their love story is not as important as what the feature film tells us.
Because Baz Luhrmann seems more focused on paralleling the King’s career and the history of the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, of which he was one of the catalysts. An interesting point of view in the form of a case to leave Austin Butler shine with a thousand lights: the young actor is simply phenomenal in the skin of Elvis, whose gestures he manages to capture to the point that we sometimes wonder if the images we see come from the film or from the archives . Fans of the filmmaker will be delighted, and they will be able to attend one of the craziest performances of recent years.
Leila and her brothers by Saeed Roustaee (Competition)
32 years old, Saeed Roustaee has already directed three feature films. Whose Tehran Law, one of the most noticed films of 2021, which obviously caught the eye of the selection committee of the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Because the Iranian director arrives directly in Competition on the Croisette, while his compatriot Asghar Farhadi is part of the jury. And it would be very surprising if he didn’t leave with a prize under his arm thanks to Leila and her brothers.
Either the story of a family torn apart by an economic crisis linked to Donald Trump’s actions against Iran, and whose daughter is trying to find a solution as well as maintaining a semblance of cohesion. On paper, there was reason to be afraid of this 2h45 film screened at the end of the festival. It is not so. If the implementation is a bit slow, we never get bored in front of the liveliness of the dialogues and the realization, which is based on various oppositions: men against women, parents against children, capitalism against family values…
We obviously think of the cinema of Asghar Farhadi, for the way that Saeed Roustaee has of using the intimate to evoke his country in general. But the filmmaker proves the extent of his talent with this drama carried by a golden cast, full of replicas that fuse and which ends with one of the most beautiful end shots seen since the beginning of the festival. Palme d’or at stake? It wouldn’t displease us.
Stars at Noon (Official Competition)
Claire Dennis had not returned to competition at Cannes since 1988! Here she is back with Stars at NoonEnglish-language film, with Margaret Qualley (noted in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and heroine of the series Maid on Netflix) and Joe Alwyn (discovered in A Day in the Life of Billie Lynn).
The plot takes place in the 80s, in the midst of the Nicaraguan revolution. Stars at Noon tells the story of two lovers, trapped in this country for different reasons that we will discover, and above all trapped by their love passion. We remember above all from this film these two actors, whose association makes sparks. Margaret Qualley is, as always, magnetic. Joe Alwyn, who replaces Robert Pattinson, initially coveted for this role (but held back by the delay in The Batman), also seduces.
This couple clearly echoes those that could be found in spy films in the 1940s. Stars at Noon clearly plays on these codes, installing tension and suspense. Add to that the dampness of the country, a languor in the staging, and jazzy music by Stuart Staples of Tindersticks, and you will have an idea of the charm that emerges from this film. Release: soon.
A Male by Fabián Hernández (Directors’ Fortnight)
For his very first film, the Colombian Fabian Hernandez poses his camera on the difficult neighborhoods of Bogotá. Gangs and their settling of scores rule the roost. In this pitiless universe where the strongest commands respect, Carlos tries to find his place. The young man lives in a home, far from his mother in prison and separated from his sister, who is a prostitute. His wish ? Being reunited with his family for the Christmas holidays. But emotions and melancholy have no place on the street. To gain respect, Carlos must assert himself more as a man, a “real one”.
Film made with few means and a young actor – Felipe Ramírez -, In Male is interested in the male figure and his authoritarian power over the weakest. The one who pulls the trigger is the one who rules the world. The feature film portrays the portrait of a sensitive and lost character, torn between reason and what society expects of him. Can we really survive by renouncing violence? This is the question posed by A Male, which transforms an endearing marginal into a real movie hero.
Dodo by Panos H. Koutras (Cannes Première)
Presented in the Cannes Première selection, Dodo signs the return of the Greek director Panos H. Koutras (Attack of the Giant Moussaka, Xenia) which offers a film in line with its unique and quirky filmography. Dodo tells how this bird, which disappeared 300 years ago, will reappear within a dysfunctional family on the verge of ruin.
Hidden in their luxurious residence near Athens, the couple Mariella – Pavlos hopes to regain their social status by celebrating the union of their daughter Sofia with a rich heir. But the appearance of this dodo in their garden and the irruption of unexpected guests a few hours before the wedding will drag the characters into a mad whirlwind of incredible events, shocking revelations and necessary questioning.
This original pitch allows Pános H. Koútras to bring together strong personalities from all social strata with different life paths. This clash of identities will allow new links, the emergence of secrets but also bring a certain peace of mind to one of her heroines, whose particular attachment to this dodo will plunge us into a revisited tale inspired by Alice in Wonderland. If the share of poetry in certain images and the interventions of a very pretty and very funny dodo are successful, we are less convinced by the rather soapy dialogues of archetypal characters.
The Mountain by Thomas Salvador (Directors’ Fortnight)
Eight years later Vincent has no scalesthe first French superhero film, here is The mountain. The second feature film Thomas Salvador, which therefore offers itself the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs for its launch. After superpowers linked to water, the actor and director changes elements to focus on air. That of the Alps that his character, a Parisian engineer, discovers and loves so much that he decides to drop everything to set up a bivouac at altitude.
As in Vincent has no scales, Thomas Salvador embodies a man on the margins. In a story where the fantastic interferes by small touches and reinforces the poetry that emerges from these magnificent mountain landscapes. Enough to excuse lengths and a rhythm close to that of the hero, reluctant to let his emotions show. This feature film which advocates a return to nature therefore requires a little patience from the viewer, but it ends up being rewarded and confirms the singular talent of its author.